Alberta Soil Science
Workshop 2018

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2017 Alberta Soils Tour
Athabasca Oil Sands Region


The 2017 Alberta Soils Tour went from Edmonton to Fort McMurray and back on May 29th to 31st, 2017. The tour was an excellent training opportunity for those working with soils, whether the focus is soil conservation, land reclamation, or agronomy. Key speakers, Konstantin Dlusskiy, Len Leskiw and Larry Turchenek, provided background on soil formation and various soil profiles for each of the landscapes encountered during the Tour. Various soil conservation, land reclamation, and agronomy challenges were addressed, along with special emphasis on forest fire history in the area presented by the guest speaker – Brad Pinno, Canadian Forest Service.

Tour Stops

  • InnoTech Alberta

    Departure and arrival point for the 2017 Alberta Soils Tour

  • Stop 1a

    Brunisols on glaciofluvial deposits at the Crow Lake Provincial Park; 2002 House River Fire; 15 years vegetation recovery

  • Stop 1b

    Luvisol-Gleysol-Mesisol catena at the Crow Lake Provincial Park; glacial till and organic deposits

  • Stop 2

    1995 Mariana Lake Fire, 27 years vegetation recovery; Mariana Lake Lodge

  • Stop 3

    2016 Fort McMurray Fire, 1st year vegetation recovery; large module staging area

  • Stop 4

    Oil Sands Discovery Center, Fort McMurray, AB

  • Merit Hotel

    Merit Hotel and Suites, Fort McMurray, AB; Presentation on 2016 Fort McMurray Fire recovery across the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

  • Stop 5

    Fort McKay outcrop; Brunisols on shallow bedrock; oil sands exposure

  • Stop 6a

    Fort Hills; Brunisols on eolian sediments over gravelly glaciofluvial deposits

  • Stop 6b

    Fort Hills; Brunisols on glaciofluvial deposits

  • Stop 7a

    Land of Giants; Syncrude mining equipment exhibit

  • Stop 7b

    Syncrude Wood Bison Viewpoint; South Bison Hill and East mine reclamation; Beaver Creek Bison Ranch

  • Stop 8a

    Reclamation at Syncrude Gateway Hill; 3-lift placement; Anthroposols

  • Stop 8b

    Reclamation at Syncrude Gateway Hill; 2-lift placement; Anthroposols

  • Stop 8c

    Syncrude Gateway monument: bison statues

  • Stop 9a

    Regosols and Gleysols on recent fluvial sediments at Dunvegan Gardens AB Ltd.

  • Stop 9b

    Dinner site on May 30; presentation on History Showcase calendars

  • Suncor Business Center

    Departure point for Stop#10 - Wapisiw Lookout

  • Stop 10a

    Wapisiw Lookout: reclamation of the Suncor's Pond 1

  • Stop 10b

    Natural trail at the Suncor's reclaimed Pond 1

  • Stop 11

    Luvisols and Gleysols on glaciolacustrine sediments near Wandering River, AB, Allan Jenkins’ farm; soil reclamation on pipelines

  • Stop 12

    Luvisols and peaty Gleysols near Amber Valley, AB; Ray Gauthier's farm; glacial till and glaciolacustrine sediments

Downloadable materials


2017 Alberta Soils Tour Guidebook Dlusskiy K., L. Turchenek, S. Boorman, L. Leskiw, M.D. MacKenzie, and K. van den Tillaart. 2017. Alberta Soils Tour Guidebook: Athabasca Oil Sands Region. May 29-31, 2017. W.L. Nikiforuk and D.A. Heeraman (Editors). Alberta Soil Science Workshop, Edmonton, AB. 65 pp.

GPS locations of the 2017 Alberta Soils Tour stops

GPX file

KML file